Kodaikanal Reserve Forests Taking Lives – Shocking Field Situation



bbc-BBC Tamil

By BBC News Tamil


Updated: Monday, August 8, 2022, 17:54 [IST]

Deaths in reserve forest


Deaths in reserve forest

While traveling in the forests of Tamil Nadu’s Dindigul district, one can spot widespread signs warning of no smoking, no drinking and no use of plastic. Similarly, boards with slogans such as Animal Movement Area, Do Not Disturb Animals have been put up by the Forest Department.

But such warning signs or awareness messages are not seen while going into reserve forest.

There are no awareness notice boards to be seen inside the forest area. Many youths trespassing into this forest has become a serial story. Some people who go without warning and without prior permission sometimes face life threatening condition.

Day by day, young people going into the forest park their vehicles near the animals to take pictures and take selfies in front of gushing waterfalls.

In order to control this, conservationists urge the forest department to step up regular patrolling of tourist spots under their control.

There are also cases of youths in this forest who dive into the waterfall without realizing the danger after consuming alcohol and hit their head on the hard rock and die on the spot. Many lives have been lost in the many waterfalls here in the past.

Very recently, two days ago, water gushed out at Pullaveli Falls in Manalur Panchayat under Attur Panchayat Union of Dindigul District. The most dangerous and unsafe waterfall is a 1,200-foot gorge about 100 feet from where the water falls.

Tourists who go to the place without feeling the danger enjoy bathing in the water fall as if Karanam escapes it is death.

Delay in recovery

In this situation, Ajay Pandey from Paramakkudy, Ramanathapuram district, along with his friend Kalyana Sundaram, has come to Bulla Valaya Falls.

Ajay Pandi lost his footing and fell into the waterfall while taking a photo and was swept away by the flood and disappeared. Dindigul and Athur Fire Departments, who came to know about the incident, have been searching for Ajay Pandi for the third day.

More than 20 fire brigade and police personnel from Dindigul district are engaged in intensive election hunting. At present, due to heavy rainfall in the Western Ghats, there is a lot of water in the waterfall.

Social activists have demanded that all those who come to the falls through the forest department check post should be sent back at this time.

Deaths in reserve forest


Deaths in reserve forest

There should be joint activities of all government departments as far as the tourism sector is concerned. But as far as Tamil Nadu is concerned, due to the lack of joint activities in the tourism sector, it has become impossible to improve the tourism sector, says Michael, a naturalist.

IntegratedP is necessary

“Tamil Nadu has many tourist destinations with natural resources. In this area, not only the forest department, but also the tourism department, the revenue department and the highway department, various government departments should work together. They should monitor the tourist areas and plan security facilities. The government departments should work together to ensure the safety of tourists and ensure their safety. should be carried out,” suggests Michael.

Deaths in reserve forest


Deaths in reserve forest

It is the responsibility of the District Collector to coordinate these government departments and carry out the work. Therefore, he also insists that the District Collector should coordinate all the departments and hold large-scale meetings every week.

Naturalist Michael


Naturalist Michael

The Chief Minister must have a separate vision

“If the tourism service in Tamil Nadu is to improve, the Chief Minister’s vision is necessary and also to create opportunities for tourists to visit the waterfalls in the forests with the support of the local people,” says Michael.

Talking about the issue, Mahendran, a local resident, says that there is no adequate equipment or rescue team ready to rescue those in danger.

“Kodaikanal is an international tourist destination. Tourists coming to the hilly area are not aware of the danger of the mountains and waterfalls here. Instead, they take selfies in the dangerous area without realizing the danger and get into accidents because of a new experience.” Mahendran says.

Kodaikanal forest area


Kodaikanal forest area

He also said, “The fire rescuers who come from below the mountain are not trained properly for the climatic conditions here, so the rescuers are not able to function properly. Kodaikanal region depends only on tourism. Therefore, it is the duty of the government to provide the necessary safety facilities to the tourists. The government, the tourist areas Barricades have not been erected in dangerous areas. This is why there are incidents of loss of life in dangerous tourist areas. Therefore, the government should come forward to provide necessary safety infrastructure in tourist areas like Kodaikanal,” he said.

Accidents are caused by tourists who ignore the warnings of the forest department and do not realize the danger. Kodaikanal Forest Department Officer Dilip says that steps will be taken to create more awareness to avoid such incidents. He also told BBC Tamil that;

“All the tourist spots in Kodaikanal are closed for tourists from 9 am to 4 pm. The problem is caused by tourists who violate these rules. Forest department warning boards are placed at the most dangerous places but accidents happen because of people who ignore it and violate it. In collaboration with the tourism department “Many government departments are working together. There is no alternative opinion. Most of the people working in the forest department are people from the same area. Steps will be taken to create more awareness in dangerous places,” he said.

Forest department is responsible

Mahendran says that the forest department should be made responsible for the loss of lives in tourist spots under the control of the forest department.

He also says that the forest department, which only charges tourists to enter the forest, does not provide them with the safety features they need.

When contacted by BBC Tamil, Tamil Nadu Forest Minister K Ramachandran said that all the aspects mentioned in the news will be brought to the Minister’s attention.


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English summary

Here is an article on Kodaikanal and Tourists Deaths.

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